On December 21, 1937, the Walt Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in Hollywood.
The first full-length feature film Disney ever produced, Snow White also scored a number of other significant firsts-- it was the first full-length hand-drawn animated feature and the first full-color animated feature film in the United States. The film also ranks first on the American Film Institute's (AFI) list of Top 10 Animated Films (ranking a respectable 34th on their list of top movies of all time).
Snow White took nearly three years to produce and cost nearly $1.5 million, requiring Disney to mortgage his house to finance the production. The film was wildly successful and earned a standing ovation at its premiere from major celebrities including Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, Clark Gable, Milton Berle and Marlene Dietrich. In its original run, the film earned nearly $8 million. In the last 75 years, Snow White has been re-released nearly a dozen times, resulting in lifetime earnings in excess of $400 million. Learn more the film's production in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Art and Creation of Walt Disney's Classic Animated Film.
In addition to box office success, Snow White achieved critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Score. The AFI ranks "Someday My Prince Will Come" 19th on their list of top movie music. The song has become a jazz standard, performed by jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis and Chick Corea and major divas Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli.
Disney based his film on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, available in a variety of beautiful editions from illustrators such as Quentin Greban and Charles Santore. A version by Melinda Copper is populated by a cast of rabbits, mice, cats and dogs. Another version tells the story in graphic novel format. The tale crosses cultures in North African and Cajun versions, Rimonah of the Flashing Sword and
Blanchette et les Sept Petits Cajuns.
Aiming for older audiences of teens and adults, Fairest of All retells the Grimm story from the perspective of the wicked queen. The fairy tale has also been recast in a variety of settings from 16th century Italy, London in 1909 and 1940s West Virgina.
Seventy-five years after the premiere of Disney's Snow White, 2012 saw the release of two new film adaptations of the fairy tale, Mirror Mirror, starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, and Snow White and The Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.